HP preps iPaq smart phone

More Treo than Treo?

Undoubtedly stung by PalmOne's relative success with its Treo range of smart phones, HP this week wanted World+Dog to know that it too is in the PDA-meets-phone market. To prove it, the company said it was going to launch more such models this year and next.

Surprise, surprise.

Equally unsurprising was the company's unwillingness to spell out exactly what it has in mind. All it will say is that it's got something up its sleeve called the iPaq Mobile Messenger and it will, Treo-fashion, sport an integrated keyboard.

The device will operate on GSM/GPRS networks and support those of them with the EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution) bandwidth enhancement. There will be Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in there too, like the current iPaq h6315.

It will also incorporate GPS satellite positioning technology, which will disappoint Tiger Telematics' Gizmondo subsidiary. As it prepares to ship its GPS-enabled handheld games console, it has its eye on the smart phone market too, hoping to tempt business buyers with that same navigation feature.

HP's offering is scheduled to ship in Q2, though as yet the manufacturer won't talk about network partnerships. It will be pitching the product at enterprises rather than the consumers it claimed PalmOne was targeting, though anecdotal evidence suggests HP's rival isn't exactly being ignored by corporates. It can't have become the leading smart phone vendor in the US market on price-sensitive consumers alone. ®

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